Monday, May 7, 2018

3 Ways to Spring Clean Mental Clutter

It's officially spring in the U.S. and over 75 percent of Americans are getting ready to do their annual spring cleaning at home, the American Cleaning Institute found in a recent survey.

While this time of the year is often associated with cleaning your house and removing clutter, Stanford professor Emma Seppala says now is also a great time to "spring clean your mind" and work life.

Factoring in the time people spend at their desks multitasking between desktops and mobile phones, checking email, browsing social media and streaming videos, Americans consume media about 12 hours a day.

"The more information we fill our minds with, the poorer our ability to remember things becomes," Seppala says. "The brain literally acts as if it were cluttered and we're less able to ignore irrelevant information."

Here are three of Seppala's tips that will help you be more productive and successful at work this spring:

  • Take more deep breaths

If you ever find yourself constantly checking your inbox for new work emails, there is an easy way to cut that habit out of your daily routine: Do breathing exercises.

  • Have some fun

As adults, many people feel like they don't have time to be creative and engage in playful activities, Seppala notes. But studies show that when people do entertain their childlike side, they actually feel less bogged down by work.

  • Add some plants to your office

In terms of spring cleaning your career, add plants to your office," Seppala recommends. "Research shows it will improve your mental well-being significantly."

"Similarly, resolve to take walks outside on your breaks instead of scrolling through your phone," she says. "This small action can significantly boost your happiness."


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